After a long wait, Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS 5, is now available on a number of devices, including the company’s latest smartphone, the iPhone 4S.
Owners of the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and other iOS-based devices can download the free upgrade through the iTunes Store after connecting to their Mac or PC. Users annoyed with tethering to their computer for an update will be pleased to know the upgrade brings device independence, among the 200 other new features and improvements.
In case you have been living under a rock for the past month, here’s a little recap of what Apple’s latest OS brings. Inspired by the Android setup of swiping down for notifications, Apple has changed the location of notification alerts, making users swipe to see. Mirroring BlackBerry’s BBM, iOS 5 provides users with iMessage, an instant messaging system allowing users to send unlimited texts – for free—to other iPhone, iPad or iPod owners.
With an accessibility theme in mind, the Apple-designed Reminders app aims to keep users organized with such neatly arranged hubs like Newsstand, which manages app subscriptions and automatically updates users of the latest issues. Mail and Calendar takes on a new appearance on iOS 5, with users gaining access to rich text, indented paragraphs and flagging important messages in Mail, along with easier event creation and management in Calendar. With Twitter deeply integrated in the OS, users are able to share pictures right from Photos, without experiencing the annoyance of multiple sign-ins.
Apple’s cloud service, iCloud, was also released alongside iOS 5 tonight. The infrastructure allows users to store and sync photos, music and documents wirelessly on their iOS devices, while backing it up daily. The service is free, with users receiving 5GB of space, though upgrades to 10, 20 and 50GB of storage will be available for $20, $40 and $100 per year, respectively.